Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Mostafavi said that Iran has not yet received any formal request to attend the next round of talks with the US over Iraq. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting on ‘Human Rights and Cultural Diversity’ here in Tehran on Monday, the official said that the US has not officially requested Iran to attend the fourth round of talks over Iraq.
Asked about the number mentioned in the recent IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities about active centrifuges in Iranian enrichment facilities, he said, “The number is not important, what matters is that (the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed) ElBaradei’s report approves the peacefulness of (Iran’s) nuclear activities.”
He further reserved judgment about Tehran’s reaction to a possible third set of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.
Also in response to questions about the raison detre for West’s opposition to the return of Iran’s nuclear dossier from the UN Security Council to the IAEA, the senior diplomat reminded that West referred the case to the UNSC in pursuit of political intentions.
“Therefore, it is natural that they insist on keeping the case at the Security Council,” he continued.
“We and many world countries, such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states, believe that using the path of the Security Council is wrong,” Mostafavi added.
He also dismissed some statements alleging that ElBaradei is seeking to buy time for Iran through concluding the recent agreement between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog agency, and said ElBaradei does not mean to buy time for Iran, “rather the issue is buying time for negotiations between Iran and the Agency.”
The deputy foreign minister declined to state a specific date for the settlement of all the unresolved issues remaining between Iran and the IAEA, and said, “We can’t talk of a specific time, it depends on the progress of talks.”